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Microsoft uses a gyroscope to eliminate Smartphone Camera Shake

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on August 2nd, 2010

Microsoft is always all over the place, working on many different technologies and now Microsoft Research has developed an algorithm that records movement detected using gyroscopes and accelerometers inside of many smartphones that cancel out and eliminate blurry digital photos caused by camera shakes.

The algorithm will reverse the shake in your images, giving you a cleaner picture and saving all of our eyes. The technology isn’t perfect yet, but it will only get better. Right now you can still see some ghost lines in the pictures, but the end result is very impressive.

Xbox 360 Halo: Reach bundle unveiled

Posted in Microsoft by Shane McGlaun on July 23rd, 2010

Microsoft has a history of making special edition Xbox 360 consoles to celebrate games like Halo. With the new Halo: Reach game coming soon a new branded and limited edition Xbox 360 has been unveiled.

The new bundle is called the Halo: Reach bundle and it features a customized version of the new slim Xbox 360. The console is silver in color and has Halo-reach graphics and sound effects from the Halo universe.

Microsoft confirms Windows Phone 7 launch partners

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on July 22nd, 2010

Microsoft’s lineup of partners for the upcoming Windows Phone 7 launch is impressive. Microsoft has confirmed that Dell and HTC will be making Windows Phone 7 phones, as well as ASUS, LG, and Samsung.

All of these companies should have their stamp firmly in place on the hardware by the end of the year. The launch of the OS is slated for the “holidays.” These are good partners to have for this OS. We are really looking forward to what they deliver. Expectations are high for this one.

Microsoft allegedly axed cross-platform gaming service because console gamers were powned

Posted in Microsoft by Shane McGlaun on July 22nd, 2010

We will never know without Microsoft fessing up if this rumor is true or not, but it has more than a tinge of believability. Raul Sood from HP-owned Voodoo has stated that sources have told him that the reason Microsoft killed off its cross-platform gaming service that was in testing was because console gamers were smeared by PC gamers.

According to Sood, console gamers lost every single match during testing of the cross-platform service when paired against a PC gamer. This is an interesting claim and explains why after Microsoft talked up the service and went to testing it never came to market.

Windows 7 Tablets coming this year

Posted in Tablet PC by Conner Flynn on July 12th, 2010

According to Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, there are several Windows 7 tablets coming. Ballmer made the remarks at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference today. We knew that Windows 7 tablets were coming. We already know about the Asus Eee Pad after all. But in addition to Asus, Ballmer also mentioned Dell, Samsung, Toshiba and Sony and Windows 7 tablet partners, with products on shelves “in the coming months.”

It’s pretty ambitious to announce this at this time. Apparently the idea is that they’ll be IT department-friendly, but we aren’t sure how since tablets are mostly about content and not productivity. I guess we will see soon.

Microsoft to make “small” job cuts company wide

Posted in Microsoft by Shane McGlaun on July 7th, 2010

Last year with the economy doing so poorly lots of big and small technology firms ended up laying off lots of workers and closing doors. Microsoft was forced to shed about 5,000 workers.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft is now getting ready to make new “small” cuts in its workforce. The WSJ source says that these “small” cuts will not be as large as the 5,000 canned last year.

Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse to be Apple Magic Mouse rival

Posted in Mouse by Conner Flynn on July 2nd, 2010

A new product listing has listed a Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse for $70. So of course rumors of Microsoft working on a rival to Apple’s Magic Mouse have begun. The prototype pictured above comes with a similar arc-shape to the current folding Arc mouse from Microsoft.

Curved transparent plastic and frustrated total internal reflection (FTIR) will be used to track several points of contact. And remember, touch/multitouch is already natively included in Windows 7, so a mouse like this would compliment it.

Microsoft kills the Kin

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on July 1st, 2010

The Microsoft Kin is now dead just six short weeks after the launch. The Kin range has been officially dropped. Apparently the handsets had staggeringly low sales figures. One rumor claimed that only 500 Kins had been sold.

Pricing was also likely an issue as Verizon positioned it with smartphone-like pricing. Microsoft’s official statement simply said that their Kin team would be integrated into the Windows Mobile 7 team and that they were not going to ship the KIN range in Europe.

Microsoft announces InstaLoad battery technology

Posted in Batteries by Conner Flynn on July 1st, 2010

Microsoft’s new InstaLoad technology sounds amazing. It promises to redefine the way you insert batteries into your devices, letting you forget about positive or negative polarity. That’s possible thanks to a patented battery contact design, which Microsoft says “simply works,” and is compatible with a whole range of battery sizes, both standard and rechargeable.

Microsoft is already licensing the technology to third party device suppliers, and is even offering a royalty-free license for suppliers and manufacturers of accessibility products. This could change the entire battery game.

Kin software update scheduled for mid-summer

Posted in Mobile Phones by Conner Flynn on June 28th, 2010

We’ve been hearing rumors of a software update for Microsoft’s Kin One and Kin Two phones. And it looks like the phones will be getting one soon. We aren’t sure if it will include the rumored IM improvements, but a Kin support moderator has confirmed on the Microsoft Answers forum that an update is scheduled for “mid-summer,”.

The update will address many of the concerns laid out in the post that prompted the response. Those complaints included battery issues, improvements to the Twitter client, and YouTube support. Apparently the Facebook app will also be updated to let users view more than three pictures at a time.

Microsoft sells over 150 Million copies of Windows 7

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on June 24th, 2010

While Apple has been breaking records with iPad sales, Microsoft has been counting their numbers as well. They just announced that they have sold over 150 million Windows 7 licenses since it went on sale. That number is up considerably from the 100 Million copies that they had sold back in April.

In fact, Windows 7 is Microsoft’s fastest selling OS. They are selling about seven copies of Windows 7 every second. Pew Pew Pew. Sales should continue to rise as many more PC users move to Windows 7.

Microsoft Develops Power Slashing App

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on June 16th, 2010

Many of us keep our work or home PC’s on when not in use. It’s convenient, but it increases our power consumption. So Microsoft has designed a new sleep proxy system that will allow you to switch off your PC or put it in Stand By and still access everything you need whenever you need it remotely.

This will cut power consumption by 60 to 80 percent. That’s awesome news. It’s good for the environment and it will save you some money as well. We like this one a lot.

Microsoft display could make 3D glasses obsolete

Posted in 3D by Conner Flynn on June 15th, 2010

The current generation of 3D TVs all have one large and dorky problem. The glasses. Nobody wants to pay extra for a pair and nobody wants to wear them. We need to get rid of them. Microsoft may just do that.

The company has been working on a new lens that would allow for 3D video with no glasses needed. The display tracks the viewers eyes using an onboard computer. Then it delivers a different image to each eye. It can even handle two viewers at once. The problem right now is that it has a viewing angle of only 20 to 40 degrees.

Xbox 360 Kinect Coming Nov. 4th, Ready to Fight

Posted in Xbox 360 by Darrin Olson on June 14th, 2010

Microsoft Xbox 360 KinectMicrosoft has officially announced today that its Kinect game system will go on sale starting November 4th, just in time for the holidays and to wage war on rival Nintendo. The new motion-sensing system will work with the Xbox 360 and consists of a 3-camera appliance that plugs into the console. The system will allow players to interact with games using body gestures and voice commands, taking it one step further than the motion controllers of the Nintendo Wii.

Microsoft has also disclosed 15 games that will be available to work with the motion-sensitive Kinect system, all involving exercise and physical play. Titles include Zomba Party, Game Party in Motion, Motionsports, Kinect Adventures, The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout, Kinect Joyride, Kinect Sports, Adrenalin Misfits, Deca Sports Collection, Dance Central, Dance Masters, Sonic Free Riders, Kinectimals, EA Sports Active 2.0 and Your Shape: Fitness Evolved.

New Xbox 360 is official at $299, ships today

Posted in Xbox 360 by Conner Flynn on June 14th, 2010

Meet the new Xbox 360. It will launch today for $299. The old Elite will be $249 and the Arcade will drop to $149. The new console looks like a stealth Xbox in glossy black with touch-sensitive buttons. According to Microsoft it’s “whisper quiet,” with one large fan instead of two.

It has integrated 802.11n WiFi, five USB ports, and 250GB of storage on a removable hard drive, though it’s not the same drive as the old console, and older Memory Units won’t work, either. To upgrade you can use a USB-to-Xbox hard drive connector cable to migrate to the new box. What do you think?